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Effective AWK Programming
Reviews Views Date of last review
1 17028 01-19-2005
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 9.0

Description: A complete guide to the awk/gawk language.
Written by Arnold Robbins, a long time gawk maintainer
Keywords: awk gawk programming regex regular expressions text
Publisher: O'Reilly PRESS
ISBN: 0-596-00070-7

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Old 01-19-2005, 03:36 PM   #1
Registered: Feb 2002
Distribution: Gentoo, Debian
Posts: 2,458

Rep: Reputation:
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9

Pros: Very detailed yet completely understandable in a step by step model.
Cons: Lacks some "big real world" examples.

I must admit to having great pleasure waiting for this book to arrive and even more starting to play with gawk on just page 11..
It took a while to trust that the beginning examples needed to be practised before wading into the heart of the book. The syntax for gawk is so similar to regex yet has important differences that need to be learned before more complex scripting. Having waded in then gone back and actually RTFM, I am sure that Arnold's assertions about remaining simple in the beginning chapters are true.
As a programme that was designed to find text patterns then operate on them, it has huge capabilities. The writing style to explain them is neither tedious nor complicated and always shows by example.. So a command line to prove it to yourself, and on to the next function.
I managed to learn an incredible amount about regex pattern matching and compare it to shell scripting, find how the tools work together, pipes, redirections etc, and still remember the following day! As with any scripting, there will be several different ways of achieving the same goal and these are covered well in the chapters.
For example, to explain and demonstrate the internetworking functions, there is a web server written from gawk/igawk..
The pieces of information I needed for my test script were spread across the book and were introduced that way to build on the previous examples.. Doing it one step at a time.. Got to understand the basic concepts first!
This has to be a necessary book for anyone reading scripts, writing scripts or modifying scripts! 325+ pages of information over 14 chapters with examples, and almost no wasted space on any of the pages, equates to a very valuable resource!!


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